No Ends of Our Own

“Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.”~~Thomas Aquinas
(BrainyQuote)

Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is supercilious, which means, “haughtily disdainful or contemptuous, as a person or a facial expression.”

Today is Inconvenience Yourself Day, a day that encourages us to go out of our way to be nice to or help someone.

The Internet is back! Strangely, it was on when I got home from work, yesterday. We had a tech scheduled to come to the house between 6 and 7 PM, last night. No one every showed up. But when I walked in the door, right at 6, all of the lights on the modem were illuminated, and everything was working. Perhaps they discovered the problem during the day and were able to fix it without sending someone out. I have no clue. There was no communication.

But the Internet works, so I don’t really care! Christi believes (and I’m inclined to agree) that it somehow has something to do with AT&T and DirecTV shutting off our service on Monday. I’m not sure how that would be possible, but it was supposed to be shut off at midnight on Monday night, and, according to Stephanie, that is about when the Internet stopped working. Who knows?

Today is Wednesday. Nothing special, really. Just another day to go to work, then come back home. But we’ll be home together tonight.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me!
Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me!

For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;
you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.

Psalm 31:1-5

Our understanding of who God is affects our prayers. In the first two verses of Psalm 31, David demonstrates his clear concept of who his God is. He is able to “urgently and confidently” express his prayer. If my idea of who God is is vague, my prayers will be hesitant and tentative.

“You, O God, have taken all the guesswork out of knowing you. You have revealed yourself clearly and graciously. I come to you now appreciating how capable you are of dealing with me, body and soul, and how single-minded you are in wanting to rescue me in Jesus Christ. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

The Delight of Sacrifice

I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. 2 Corinthians 12:15

Another one of Oswald Chambers’s recurring topics is emphasized in this reading, that of being identified with “Jesus Christ’s interests in other people.” This has intrigued me, every time I read this book. There are times when I struggle with the meaning of the statement, but in this reading, I believe Chambers defines it by continuing to say, “and Jesus Christ is interested in every kind of man there is.”

“We have no right in Christian work to be guided by our affinities; this is one of the biggest tests of our relationship to Jesus Christ.” I have been so guilty of this, in the past. And who among us isn’t? Our “service” tends to be limited by our interests, but not by our interest in other people; we tend to gravitate toward that which interests us. When we delight in sacrificing, we lay down our life for Christ, “not fling it away, but deliberately lay my life out for Him and His interests in other people, not for a cause” (emphasis mine). There are far too many Christians, today, being distracted by “causes.” Many of them are, perhaps, “worthy causes,” but they are not our purpose for being here. God has not placed me here to champion any other cause by that of Jesus Christ! And this includes some very popular “causes” among Christians. And there are some very “un-Christian” things being said by Christians, all for the sake of their “causes.”

Paul did not attract people to a cause, or to himself. His main purpose was to attract people to Jesus Christ. “If we are abandoned to Jesus, we have no ends of our own to serve.”

That statement cuts like a knife (thanks, Bryan Adams). “If we are abandoned to Jesus, we have no ends of our own to serve.”

That is a statement worthy of some serious meditation time.

Father, what ends of my own do I serve? When I begin to champion my own “cause” instead of the cause of Christ, point it out to me, immediately. I pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit when I begin to filter my service by my own affinities. Show me how to attract people to Jesus Christ, not to a particular music artist or baseball team or video game. All that matters is Jesus Christ and his interests in other people. Draw me toward living my life in abandonment to Christ.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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